Match.com is one of the biggest dating platforms around the globe - but is it all it's cracked up to be? Let's test drive Match, and see whether it truly is the best place to find love online.
Match is popular for a reason; it's free to use (to a point), simple enough to register, and has one of the biggest user-bases you're going to find online. The downside of that is that there will be as many guys and girls here that aren't your cup of tea - but likewise, you have a massive dating pool to choose from. The thing to remember about Match is that it is all about authentic relationships; so you will have to work through a series of questions on sign up (most are multiple-choice) and things like a profile photo are mandatory.
You'll not find any spammers here - unless they've put some serious effort into it - as site admin verifies every individual profile picture within 15 minutes of signing up. If your photo isn't approved, either because it isn't genuine or doesn't comply with site rules, you'll be booted out until you upload a proper one! In terms of the functions and features, there's nothing groundbreaking here, but everything works seamlessly. That means you can quickly run searches, find a decent number of local singles, and check out their profiles without needing to play any games or spend any time working out where stuff is on the site.
Match is pretty easy to use, although you're going to have to upgrade to get much out of the site. The site terms are quite strict, so this isn't a platform for kinky nudes or fake profiles; but is full of real, single people looking for romance.
Signing up is simple enough, and once you've answered all of the questions, you must upload a photo. The questions are all mandatory, but you can select 'I'll keep that to myself' if there's something you're not comfortable answering, or appearing on your profile.
One of the few things I don't like about Match is that it feels a little disjointed in places. For example, you can sign up for Affiny, which is an additional service and asks you to complete a questionnaire. The reasoning is excellent; you answer more detailed personality questions to help Match deliver compatible results, or suggest members they think are perfect for you. This service, however, is separate from Match and you get another email verification email with different branding, which to me feels slightly off. I'm always hyper-cautious about spammers on dating sites, so perhaps that is why I found this a bit unusual.
In terms of usability, Match is slick, and you know this is a site designed to make it as simple to use for even the newest of online daters. All the tools and functions run along the top toolbar, and if you click on your profile photo, the dropdown box gives you all the options you need to manage and make changes to your account or subscription.
To get rid of the slightly annoying ads (all encouraging you to upgrade or pay for an additional service) you'll need to choose one of the membership packages - either one, three or six-months long. Interestingly, six months costs less than three, so if you do decide to sign up, you're just as well choosing the longer duration!
Match is doubtless one of your best bets if you're looking for a long-term committed relationship - purely because of the size of the site, and the number of years it's been around. However, you're paying for the privilege, with some of the highest subscription costs you're likely to find in UK dating.
That said it might be money well spent. You won't find any of the vague, half-completed profiles, or any of the spammers who are there to waste your time and their own. The profiles are real people, and by and large, most members have completed all of the information available so you can get a good idea about whether somebody is right for you before you send a like or start up a chat.
One of the factors that set Match apart is the events. These are paid for, so you won't be invited to a singles party for free, but it does mean that you get a new layer of potential interactions. Given the lack of a niche, the users on Match are very varied, and you'll find gay and straight members here too. I came across a page full of attractive guys immediately on registering, which led me to suspect some of them might be too good to true, but on closer inspection, they all look to be real!
With guys varying from Sparkles to IAmVenom, when I say diverse I mean it - so while you'll get a ton of responses to a search, it also takes quite a bit of filtering to get down to a shortlist of people you'd seriously consider dating.
All in all, it's expensive, it's simple, and it's one of the most popular dating sites for a reason. If you have a specific niche or a preference in a partner, you might be better off with a more dedicated date site. If you're looking for general matches, long-term commitment and an easy to use website, Match is for you.
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